Queue Times at American Parks VS Parks in other countries.

Sunday, December 6, 2015 7:47 PM

A park like Parc Asterix in France will have 1.5-2 hours lines for Tonnerre de Zeus (CCI woodie) but that is due to the ride design and small number of big coasters in the park. Basically, the original CCI control system only allowed the second train to be dispatched when the other was in the second to last curve of the ride and that is a problem on a 4000 feet long coaster. Even if the ride ops hustle and get the train checked in record time, you're still blocked by the ride.

Then, the park does good attendance: 1.6-1.7 million guests a year and up until 2012... there were only 3 major coasters in the park: the wooden coaster, the neck breaking Vekoma looper Goudurix and Trace du Hourra, the tallest Mack Bobsled coaster. It is quite a few coasters less than a comparable park in the US and that partly explains the huge crowds at Tonnerre de Zeus. Then, lines went down across the board in 2012 when another big coaster opened, the highly themed OzIris B&M Inverted Coaster. Parks in Europe on average have less coasters than our big corporate parks and Parc Asterix is a perfect example of what happens when you have a handful of big thrill rides.

Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Paris both have low and high capacity rides. Space Mountain (custom launched Vekoma looper) with 4 trains and Indiana Jones et le Temple du Peril (custom compact Intamin looper) with 6 12 passengers train get 1600 guests each per hour. Big Thunder Mountain with 5 trains there get around 1900-2000 guests per hour, which is lower than in the US because of the nearly 5000 feet long layout. On the other side of the spectrum, you have RC Racer, a non spinning Intamin Half Pipe that get 500 guests per hour and Crush Coaster, a dark ride/coaster hybrid from Maurer AG that barely touch 800 guests per hour. The end result is that even if the Walt Disney Studios daily attendance peak at 15000-20000 guests, you still have constant 1 to 2 hours wait at each ride all day.


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Tuesday, December 8, 2015 12:35 PM
delan's avatar

ShaneDenmark said:

Germany is known for efficiency because they have computer systems that manipulate the data when it knows it's being tested. The rest of the time they are actually way less efficient...

(Sorry couldn't quite figure out how to word that VW joke)

Tee, and then a hee! Not all German car companies are created equal. The Silverstar is the first, and the finest!

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Sunday, December 13, 2015 6:46 PM

I'm just going to point out that someone is going to Cedar Point on the wrong days. The majority of days I was there this year the average regular wait time for Millenium was an hour, Dragster and Maverick similar maybe a little higher. I got on Millennium in less than half an hour several times, Dragster a few and just a couple times for Maverick not including ERT waits or ride nights. Three hour wait times are not the standard. You can't hit a park 2 or 3 times in a year and say that what you experienced is the daily routine.

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Friday, December 18, 2015 4:24 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

For those of you who commented on wait times that I posted. I was stating wait times posted by the park at the entrance to the queue. So when I said Magnums wait time went from 30 mintues to 50, was because the posted wait time was at 30 minutes, and ended up being 50, due to fast lane, which wait times are not posted.

So, when I said the wait time for top thrill dragster was a 3 hours, and the fast lane was at an hour and half. there is a good chance that people waiting in the 3 hour line, might end up waiting longer due to who is in control of the line split. The fast Lane lines on most of Cedar Points coasters merge into the main line, and people in the main line are held back at the split to allow fast lane riders in ahead of them. So they can wait longer than the posted wait time.

An example of this is longer waits for ST at Michigan's Adventure. When fast lane riders enter the station, the main line is held back to allow fast line riders board before, anyone else. On a day that I was there they left the station empty, and only allowed people into the station queue when there were no fast lane people waiting to ride. It was kind of stupid, because there was a line of people waiting to ride, and the trains were going out without being fully loaded. This also happened on Thunderhawk. But, the waits for the main lines were under 20 minutes.

As for Cedar Point not always having long tines, and went there 3 days in a row, and almost every major coaster had a line of over 2 hours each day. Sunday had the worst lines. Also, i have been going to the park since the 1980's, and no matter what day I go, most lines for the coasters are hour+ no matter what day it is.


I didn't do it! I swear!!

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Friday, December 18, 2015 5:35 PM
sirloindude's avatar

T-R, they do account for Fast Lane riders in that posted wait time. Regardless of how many times Fast Lane riders come back around, the proportion of Fast Lane to standby riders let in at the merge point doesn't change, so they can account for that.


13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones

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Friday, December 18, 2015 7:32 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Timber-Rider said:

So, when I said the wait time for top thrill dragster was a 3 hours, and the fast lane was at an hour and half. there is a good chance that people waiting in the 3 hour line, might end up waiting longer due to who is in control of the line split.

There's an equally "good" chance that I will be awakened tomorrow morning by Channing Tatum, in a Speedo a size too small, whispering sweet nothings in my ear.

(In other words, no chance because that's not how it works.)


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Saturday, December 19, 2015 6:44 AM

Timber-Rider said:

As for Cedar Point not always having long tines, and went there 3 days in a row, and almost every major coaster had a line of over 2 hours each day. Sunday had the worst lines. Also, i have been going to the park since the 1980's, and no matter what day I go, most lines for the coasters are hour+ no matter what day it is.

Man, you do not choose the best days to go, like at all.

Last edited by Go Intamin, Saturday, December 19, 2015 6:45 AM
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Saturday, December 19, 2015 8:34 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

Timber-Rider said:

...went there 3 days in a row...

Out of an operating season X hundred days long.

and almost every major coaster had a line of over 2 hours each day.

No, "almost" every major coaster had a line of over 2 hours at the at the time you were near that coaster. Doesn't mean that all the coasters had a 2 hour wait time the whole day through. And what constitutes "almost every major coaster"? Two? Four? Half?

If you go on busy days and follow the crowd, your experience will be skewed.

I remain perplexed. Whyever do you go to amusement parks when you apparently feel they're looking for ways to screw you over?


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Saturday, December 19, 2015 12:07 PM
LostKause's avatar

If any park knows what's going on, a wait time sign will account for the line-cutting line too. That's no matter if the wait time sign is stationary, as in, "The wait time from this point is ?? minutes," or if the wait time sign is at the entrance and able to be changed by a staff member.

I believe that most every park know's what's going on.

And dude, you need to get to an amusement park when they are not busy. I dislike a busy park too. A little bit of planing will totally change your perspective. A slow park is a very fun park.

Last edited by LostKause, Saturday, December 19, 2015 12:07 PM
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Saturday, December 19, 2015 8:18 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

I bet he went to Raptor first.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015 1:32 PM

Including an Orlando trip over the holidays, and one during the time in which Gringotts was both very popular and very unreliable, I've waited in line more than an hour maybe five times, if that, in the past fifteen years. One of which was Gringotts which kept breaking, one of which was Deja Vu at SFOG (say no more, they all say) and once each at Space Mountain and Rockit. So four actually.

Granted, there was impending rain the day I went but I got back to back walk ons on Leviathan the year it opened, one of which was front seat. Timber has terrible park planning skills, methinks.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015 5:21 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Methinks youthinks correctly.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015 7:05 PM

Fair planning skills, too, come to find out.

I'm with Vincent Greene on this one, in fact I thought about posting something similar earlier. But I bet I can count on one hand the number of times I've waited over an hour in a decade, and one of them was just this past summer. So maybe I just hit the days when the parks are less busy. Or maybe I'm blessed with good park planning skills. Maybe I pay to cut more than I should. Or maybe I visit my home parks so much that I don't care anymore and if I see a long wait I'm ok with passing it by til next time.

The cases where I've felt compelled to wait occured at the debut of a much anticipated ride (Diamondback opening day comes to mind, most recently) or if I'm on vacation to a park I'm likely to not visit again soon. (Wicked Cyclone comes to mind, even more recently)
I hate to wait and do what I can to make sure I don't. Even if it means not going.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015 7:18 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I have yet to ride Goliath up at Great America; I just can't bring myself to wait an hour for a coaster anymore. I'll ride it eventually.

Perhaps Timber's mutant power is to pick the busiest days of the season to visit parks?


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015 8:26 PM

The other thing I don't understand is clearly timber-rider is a platinum pass holder (or he made a poor financial choice because a 3 day trip to CP and just one visit to Michigans Adventure makes the platinum pass the cheapest option.)

There is no reason to wait for 2 hours at Cedar Point when you can hit Maverick, MF, and Rougerau during ERT (easily in that order) and then hit TTD right at opening for a 30-45 min wait. Anyone who has been to Cedar Point a handful of times knows Raptor and Gatekeeper will have less then 45 min waits around dinner time, so what ride are you waiting for for 2hours exactly?


2020 Trips: Canceled by Corona

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015 6:25 PM

Oh I don't doubt someone could go three days in a row to Cedar Point and have all three of them busy but to assume that is how the park always is just becaue that's the only way you've experinced it personally is just wrong. You've seriously just always been there on the wrong days. How often have you gone each season since the 80's? If it's been a three day trip each season you can't possibly judge daily park operations by that, especially if it's a three day weekend trip then your impressions are totally skewed.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015 10:27 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Exactly. It's like going to your local cineplex on the opening days of Avengers Age of Ultron, Jurassic World and Star Wars, and concluding it's that busy every day.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Sunday, January 3, 2016 2:46 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

Hey Paisly. I have been going to Cedar Point since 1985. I sometimes went 3 or 4 times each year. It is very rare that I have been there where the lines were not crazy long. I have been there about every day of the week, and sometimes have gone 3 days in a row. From a stretch of about 1990 to 2009, I went every summer. In fact I went at least 4 times one summer where Top Thrill dragster was closed every time I went.

I have gone before fast lane came around, and have waited in crazy long lines for certain rides. Here are some of the longest. All before fast lane.

Mean Streak...1991...3 hours and 45 minutes. Full queue.

Magnum...1990 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Raptor: 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Mantis: 3 hours

Maverick: 2 hours 45 minutes.

M-force: 3 hours.

Keep in mind though, that those times are lines I have waited in. I have seen lines as longs 4 hours at Cedar Point. The Longest was for M_force at 7 hours, with a rope queue, and a line going all the way back to Thunder Canyon, with a girl on a megaphone trying to urge people to leave the line. "If you choose to wait, you may not ride today."

So, when people try to tell me I'm wrong. I say bull. As for the Top Thrill dragster line, nowhere on the main line does it say that the fast lane wait is included in the main line. If that's true, why does a 30 minute wait time posted at Magnum turn into 50 minutes with fastlane?

I would bet if there was no fast lane at Cedar Point, lines would be a lot longer. Also how can the queue at Maverick be full with you will wait 2 hours and 45 minutes from this point, while the fast lane queue is also full? I watched how they work, and they do not alternate lines quickly. They will let like 50 or 60 people from fast lane into the main line, while keeping their little queue stick across the queue to hold back the main line to let large amounts of fast lane people in first. It's not groups of 4 back and forth, it's an endless flow of fast laners.

I also know that people who did buy fast lane tickets were greatly upset about how long they had to wait in line, for just waiting and hour and 45 minutes. Just because I say how I feel about it, doesn't mean others don't feel the sameway.

On the other hand there is Fast lane at MA, where there is no wait for fast laners at all, yet trains get dispatched half full, because those people can't decide where they want to sit, and the main line has to wait, when they should fill every seat. Most likely due to dispatching trains on time. I saw that happen multiple times on ST, where the main line was kept out of the station, to allow fast lane people to pick and choose their spots first. fast lane at MA does not merge into the main line. People come in for fast lane through the exit, and on thunderhawk, they have their own back entrance.

The funniest is a whole new fast lane Queue for the Tilt-a-whirl, where there is no queue for the main line. Think they should make that the other way around.


I didn't do it! I swear!!

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Sunday, January 3, 2016 3:11 PM

All those wait times add up to what they would likely be on the opening day of said attraction. And I'm sorry but I call bull on the seven hour Millennium Force line. I was there on May 7, 2000 which was AAA Day, a weekend before official opening day. The park was packed to the gills, and Millennium Force was only running two trains. The entire set of switchbacks was full and there was extended queue outside as well, and the posted and reported wait times were 3-4 hours. I just can't see it ever getting longer than that.

And I'll bet the year you speak of where four visits equated to four days of a fully shuttered not open at all Top Thrill Dragster was 2003. Maybe 2004 if you hit it right. And all of us regulars had that those years.

Fastlane does create longer standby lines. It's simple math. Fewer standby guests get through an hour.

If you are waiting longer than the posted wait time, then all that means is the greeter has not updated the wait time sign, or there was a delay in operations of some sort. You are right in that eyeballing what was a 30 minute wait in the Magnum queue before Fastlane is definitely going to, for the sake of argument, be perhaps a 40 or even 50 minute wait now if there are lots of Fastlaners. But the posted wait time should be taken for what it is, an approximation of what the projected wait time is for the ride in the non-Fastlane ride. They do make allowances for Fastlane. Just like the time will be adjusted if a ride isn't running to capacity (aka, Raptor goes down to two trains - they will bump the time up.) I'm not sure where you get this notion that you have to add a Fastlane allowance to posted wait times.
If you are waiting an hour and 45 minutes for anything with a Fastlane, you are there either on Columbus Day Saturday or one of the few freak summer Saturdays where you get crowds of a similar level.There are plenty of ways around seeing lines this size at Cedar Point. The wait times and scenarios you mention are pretty much reserved for the busiest of summer weekends and Halloweekend Saturdays. The question becomes why still go to the park if you are miserable.

Last edited by BrettV, Sunday, January 3, 2016 3:12 PM
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Sunday, January 3, 2016 3:11 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

Hey Lost Kause. In answer to your question, Cedar Point has queue times, and a queue attendant at multiple places for each coaster. There is one at the queue entrance, who controls both the fast lane sign, and the main line sign. Both are on a spin wheel, with what looks like increments of 15 minutes and so on. There is a second queue attendant at the fast lane split, which has a clip board and a stick.

When the second attendant wants to allow fast lane riders into the line, They place the stick across the main queue, and let a herd of fast lane riders into the line, until there is a gap, they then reopen the main line. It appears that they also count the number of fast lane riders they let into the queue, and write the number down on their clip board. They also have a walkie talkie to communicate with the first queue op, and the station. There is also often a third attendant at the turn style into the station, who controls the amount of people who enter so that the station doesn't become over crowded. They also direct people where to go, so the trains are evenly sent out. This also keeps too many people from waiting for the front of rear of the train. People who want to sit in the front, often get grumpy, when they are told they can't.

Each coaster also has a front seat queue in the station, which on Magnum is a small zig zag queue of it's own. On Maverick, the turn style operator directs people to their seats, and controls the single rider line. It also has it's own front seat queue. Most coasters at Cedar point have their own front seat Queue. Good thing have not found a way to charge extra for that!!

As for people who cut in line without fast lane, The park still has the same policy for them it has always had. You can cut in line if you pay, but not if you don't. They also check wristbands.


I didn't do it! I swear!!

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